Jun 27, 2011 6:23am
Re: Blossom Music 6-25-85
Here you go, Micah.
06-25-85 - Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, Oh.
1: Day Tripper, West L.A. Fadeaway, CC Rider, Dire Wolf, Beat It on Down the Line, Row Jimmy, Me & My Uncle-> Big River, Big Railroad Blues, Jack Straw, Might as Well
2: Gimme Some Lovin'-> China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider-> Playin' in the Band-> Drums-> The Wheel-> Playin' in the Band-> China Doll-> Sugar Magnolia, E: Touch of Gray
This fun first set opens with Day Tripper, the only time they ever did that. One of five versions ever, they had encored with it and closed with it, so now they decide to open with it, and it’s a kick-ass way to start a Grateful Dead show on a summer afternoon. The set is also stacked with five nice Jerry selections: West LA, Dire Wolf, Row Jimmy, Big RR Blues and Might as Well, so you know this is going to be a good ride. But the second set is where the action is. It’s solid all the way through, with precision jamming, a GREAT China Cat, and an energetic PITB to cap off a highlight reel pre-drums. This is one of those
’85 shows – kinky set list, well-played and energetic throughout, maybe a few flubs, but all-in-all pretty magical.
Day Tripper, West LA is just an awesome and downright dirty way to start a show. Both of these have punch, with good vocals, and the quality of this recording is evident immediately. I take Bobby’s slide-work on this CC Rider as I always do, with a cringe and a smile, and a sense of relief when Jerry takes over the lead again and finishes with style. They fire off Dire Wolf and BIODTL without missing a beat, then settle into Row Jimmy, which features Jerry bending his guitar chords and straining his vocal chords. The cowboy combo is vintage ’85, with confident, creative solos from Jerry and a beautiful job by the rest of the band to keep it all together and tight. It seems evident at this point that Garcia is “feeling it.” Pity that there’s no Bird Song or Let it Grow to really put this set over the top. Big RR, while a nice choice, is a little off, and Jack Straw never quite takes off. Jerry mumbles his way through Might as Well to end it. A weak back end, but a fun set overall.
Like the first, the second set open up with a classic and a GD original: This time it’s Gimme Some Lovin (go Phil!) into a really hot China Cat. This version is all amped up, with excellent transitional jamming from Jerry that sounds a little bit old-school. Know u Rider is adequate and PITB is a big amorphous blob of fun. Space offers a bizarre collection of electronic blips and pseudo-animal sounds before transforming pleasantly into the Wheel and then a rough trans into Playin reprise. Jerry’s playing is interesting during most of this stretch, if not flawless. Then China Doll drops out of nowhere like a dark dream, slowing the pace and reigning in the madness briefly before it’s all unleashed again in a rockin Sugar Mag to close. A short post-space, but densely-packed!
Highlights: Daytripper, West LA, MAMU, China Cat